by Su Chon
RAD Tell me a little about your band, I remember when you started
about the time that Swim [another local ska band called Swim
Herschel Swim which recently broke up] did...
How bad we sucked.
RAD Why did you change the spelling of your name?
S: Stretch Armstrong is a doll by Hasbro, it came out in the '70s.
The reason that we even named the band cause that was kinda
reminiscent of that doll. Well, they just re-released it so
for copyright reasons we changed the spelling so we didn't have
to worry about it.
D: Maybe we could still get busted for commercial appropriation but
we don't think anyone will ever notice us.
S: We're German.
RAD Don't you want to go all the way? You guys have talent, and I
think you can take it further. How committed is your band?
D: We're doing everything we can with this CD especially, we're
really into promotions, sending out to radio stations, record
companies, blah blah blah and next summer we're going out of
state as much as we can.
RAD Are you going to be touring with, say, Skankin' Pickle or
something like that?
S: Probably not Skankin' Pickle, we'd like, I don't know, we'll see
D: We've had different opportunities here and there that we're just
unable to take, being in school and being married.
S: Actually, not to diss Skankin' Pickle because they're one of our
favorite groups of guys, but we'd actually like to tour with
somebody even bigger than that, to get more exposure cause they
do a lot of bar shows. We've had opportunities, we've been
asked to tour with Rancid and Citizen Fish. We just entered
discussions with Offspring, we might be opening up for them in
December. So I mean, if we could be getting bigger gigs like
that - they're not ska bands but I think our live show is good
enough that we can compare you know.
RAD What kind of ska do you classify yourselves as, two-tone, East
Coast, West Coast?
S: Us. We're our own breed.
D: There are very few that are doing two-tone band stuff right now.
A lot of people are turning like, kinda the Bosstones thing.
They want to be Bosstones fans or Fishbone fans.
S: A little harder edged or the Fishbone thing, funky or something
like that. They're two things we tried and screw up every time
we do it so we just stick to whatever we do.
RAD I read an article about you guys being one of the happiest bands
that someone had heard about and that's why he joined.
D: We actually have a lot of pain.
S: Deep, deep, deep within.
D: We're sick of experience.
S: We feel like him inside.
D: Everyday is like Halloween. I think that was one of our sax
players though that thought we were the happiest band.
RAD And that's why he joined.
S: Well we're not angry, I don't know whether we're the happiest
band. We're not like happy shiny people or anything...
D: ...but we're not warped.
RAD So how did this band start up?
S: Very carefully.
D: A HA! (Laughs) Scott is the only original member in the band.
S: Just a bunch of friends got together, we liked ska, we wanted
to do a variation of ska.
RAD How did you survive because it seems like you guys got really
big, like Swim got really big and then it kind of died down a
S: I think what happened, to be honest with you, is that we rode
the coattails of Swim for a really long time. We went from zero
to 500 - 1,000 people shows the first two months we were a band
y'know. Then Swim and us kind of parted ways and there was a
good year and a half to two years where we weren't doing shows
together and we actually had a chance to gather together to
become our own band and to build ourselves up again.
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